Three Requests #4

Saturday, November 7, 2020

And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not (Luke 8:27,28 KJV).

There are three pleadings in this context. With which one should we align ourselves?

We read the concluding verses: “[38] Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, [39] Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.” Here is the third and final pleading. Formerly possessed with devils (one of his numerous problems), he asks the Lord Jesus if he can accompany Him back to Galilee. This is in stark contrast to his neighbors who have requested Jesus leave their area (cf. verse 37).

Those Jews living east of the Sea of Galilee were reckless in rejecting Christ. However, there was a believer who saw great value in God’s Son. It was the very man who had been delivered from a most pathetic existence. He knew firsthand there was complete victory in Jesus. “Lord, if they are sending You away, please let me come too!” Christ forbids him. Instead, he is advised to stay: “Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee.” He is to remain there to share his testimony with others—and he does. “And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.” To wit, “Listen to what the Son of God in His grace did for me! He saved me from a worthless life that glorified Satan!”

Brethren, while we may long to be with Christ in Heaven, still a fourth beseeching, a far greater (!) beseeching, is, “Lord, let me stay here on Earth, that I may tell others what You in Your grace did for me!” 🙂

Three Requests #3

Friday, November 6, 2020

And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not (Luke 8:27,28 KJV).

There are three pleadings in this context. With which one should we align ourselves?

Luke reports: “[33] Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. [34] When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. [35] Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. [36] They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. [37] Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.”

After Jesus permitted the unclean spirits to possess the herd of nearby pigs, the swine drowned themselves. The onlookers entered the city and relayed the news to neighbors. Instead of rejoicing that the Saviour was present, their materialism (unbelief) caused them to beg Him to leave. “Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them” (verse 37a). The Lord Jesus was a threat to their business of raising swine, an animal the Law of Moses considered “unclean” for the Jews (Leviticus 11:7,8). Verily, verily, they were foolish to prefer their “old life” as opposed to praising the Lord that He had come to deliver them from Satan and sin.

“Lord, please go away!” We should avoid this type of beseeching. The final instance of entreating in this chapter is the wisest of requests….

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Three Requests #2

Thursday, November 5, 2020

And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not (Luke 8:27,28 KJV).

There are three pleadings in this context. With which one should we align ourselves?

Continue at verse 35 for the second pleading: “[35] Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. [36] They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. [37] Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.”

Here is the third imploring: “[38] Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, [39] Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.” Now, we expound what has transpired concerning this miracle.

Christ, on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the area of the Gadarenes, encounters a man possessed with myriads of devils and living in tombs. The leading evil spirit begs Jesus not to punish him—that is, banish him and his fellow unclean spirits to Hell. “I beseech thee, torment me not…. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep” (verses 28,31). Here is the first pleading. While we sinners would also be wise in asking God not to punish us with eternal judgment, there is a better kind of longing than endeavoring to escape a deserved penalty….

Three Requests #1

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not (Luke 8:27,28 KJV).

There are three pleadings in this context. With which one should we align ourselves?

Let us start reading the passage in its setting: “[26] And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. [27] And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. [28] When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. [29] (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

“[30] And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. [31] And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. [32] And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. [33] Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. [34] When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.”

Having read the first request from one party, now we get to the second request from another party….

Throwing Them Out! #4

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Jairus’ child, his “one only daughter,” was 12 years old (Mark 5:42; Luke 8:42). Any skilled student of Scripture will immediately recall 12 in the Bible is Israel’s number. Remember, did not Jacob have 12 sons who became the nation Israel? Were not those 12 men the fathers and heads of the 12 tribes of Israel? Does not Israel have 12 Apostles—one to reign over each tribe in the ages to come? Yes! Yes! Yes!

“And he [the LORD God] gave him [Abraham] the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs (Acts 7:8). After dying Jacob blessed his 12 sons, the Bible says, “All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them” (Genesis 49:28). “And Jesus said unto them [the 12 Apostles], Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging [ruling] the twelve tribes of Israel(Matthew 19:28).

Jairus’ daughter is in the process of dying. God’s Son is en route to heal her, but a delay causes Him to be “too late” and, tragically, she passes away! Here is national Israel, spiritually and functionally dead. God’s daughter is expired! The Lord Jesus comes to the house, and, entering the room, sees and hears the grievers. Today’s Scripture again, “And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.” Jesus argues, paraphrased, “The girl’s condition is not permanent. While her spirit has left her body, this is temporary, like a sleeping state. She will live again!” Lacking faith, however, His audience finds this comical. “Surely, she is hopelessly dead, never coming back!” Upon their chuckling, Jesus drives them out. They will not see Israel’s resurrection….

Throwing Them Out! #3

Monday, September 14, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Never should we forget that, when the Lord was performing miracles, the purpose was much more than simply to excite people or rescue them from difficulties. Chiefly, most importantly, “the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22). A miracle in Scripture is for Israel’s benefit, designed to signify or communicate a particular doctrine or teaching.

For example, recall when JEHOVAH God commissioned Moses to return to the Israelites enslaved in Egypt. The Bible reports in Exodus 4:1: “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.” God then endowed Moses with miraculous power to authenticate his ministry and message. His rod could transform into a snake, he was able to heal leprosy (skin disease), and he could turn the river’s water into blood (verses 2-9). “And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed…” (verses 30,31). “Signs” belong to Israel, for they are Israel’s national birthright (cf. Psalm 74:9). The same is true concerning Christ’s earthly ministry.

Let us consider Luke 8:1, “…[Jesus] went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,….” Not only did Christ preach, He validated those words with miraculous deeds: He “preached” and “shewed” the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe (John 4:48). The last verse of Mark notes: “And they [the 12 Apostles] went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

With all that said, why did the Lord raise Jairus’ little daughter from the dead? He was authenticating His message. The key is to remember the girl’s age, and all will be clear….

Throwing Them Out! #2

Sunday, September 13, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

The Lord is conducting His earthly ministry in Galilee, northern Israel, west of the Sea of Galilee. A ruler of a local synagogue—or Jewish place of worship—approaches Him for intervention. The man is Jairus, and his little girl, only 12 years of age, is ill and near death: “[22] And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, [23] And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. [24] And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.”

As Christ walks to Jairus’ house, a sick woman touches the hem of His garment and she is healed of her hemorrhaging. (May may read verses 25-34 in your own personal study. For now, we must skip them.) While the woman being cured is good news, that delay is a sad outcome for Jairus’ daughter. Verse 35 again: “While he [Jesus] yet spake [to the healed woman], there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” Christ is simply “too late” in reaching the child and she has died!

Verses 36-39 once more: “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado [commotion, fuss], and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.” The girl’s mourners scoff at Jesus’ words, so He removes them from the area (today’s Scripture)….

NOTE: Dear saints, concerning our New Testament Survey Project, we have finished Matthew and now started Mark. You can watch those videos here.

Throwing Them Out! #1

Saturday, September 12, 2020

And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying (Mark 5:40 KJV).

Why did Jesus throw these people out?

Read today’s Scripture in context: “[22] And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him [the Lord Jesus], he fell at his feet, [23] And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. [24] And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him….” (Christ is delayed.)

“[35] While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? [36] As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. [37] And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. [38] And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. [39] And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. [40] And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

“[41] And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. [42] And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. [43] And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.” What is the implication of this miracle, and why were some not allowed to witness it? Let us study….

Our latest Bible Q&A articles: “What about the ‘mythological’ animals in Scripture?” and “Can you explain Psalm 22:20-21?

Israel Blinded Thrice! #3

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

“And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9,10 KJV).

Friend, did you know this passage is applicable to three particular times in Israel’s history?

The Holy Spirit was poured out on Israel’s believing remnant in Acts chapter 2, bearing witness of Christ’s resurrection by performing miracles through the Little Flock. Yet, national Israel remained in unbelief, persecuting the Apostles and Prophets—Peter, John, Stephen, et cetera. Christ raises up a new Apostle, Paul, to begin the Dispensation of Grace and the Church the Body of Christ. Israel continues opposing God’s work through the rest of Acts.

With Acts closing, Paul quotes today’s Scripture in chapter 28: “[25] And when they [the Jews] agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, [26] Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: [27] For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

Read Romans 11:6-10,25-27 (cf. Isaiah 29:10). God again removes whatever spiritual light Israel had and willfully refused. Israel’s blindness will not be lifted until God gives her a sign, another miraculous demonstration intended to teach doctrine. Following the blinding of Israel in our dispensation, God will send Israel a sign, Christ’s Second Coming, as in Matthew 24:30: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” At Christ’s return, as per Romans 11:25-27, Israel is nationally enlightened and converted, and enters the Millennium!

Israel Blinded Thrice! #2

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

“And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9,10 KJV).

Friend, did you know this passage is applicable to three particular times in Israel’s history?

The Lord Jesus Christ conducted His earthly ministry for three years in Israel. Yet, they overwhelmingly rejected Him as Messiah-King. Consequently, He began to gradually withdraw from public ministry, dealing with just believers. He quotes today’s Scripture twice—Matthew 13:14-16 and John 12:37-41. Read from John: “[37] But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: [38] That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? [39] Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, [40] He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Again, God removes whatever spiritual light Israel had and willfully refused. She is blinded a second time (beginning with Jesus’ parables). That darkness will not be removed until God gives her a sign (another miraculous demonstration designed to teach doctrine). Following Israel’s blinding in Christ’s earthly ministry, God sends Israel the sign of Christ’s resurrection, as per Matthew 12:39,40: “[39] But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas [Jonah]: [40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

After Christ’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit preached to Israel through the 12 Apostles (see Acts chapters 2–7). Israel is enlightened, having another chance to believe! Alas, she persists in unbelief again, still refusing to trust the Gospel of the Kingdom. God blinds her a third and final time….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does Acts 7:6 have a mistake?